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CNN Columnist: Let’s Not Use ‘Terrorism’ to Describe Non-Directed Attacks

Posted on 09 August 2016

Last month, yours truly, with the help of commenters (and in a supplemental post found here), shredded the idea proposed in a column at Slate.com that journalists should eliminate the words "terrorist" and, by extension, "terrorism," to describe genuine acts of terrorism committed by terrorists (unless those words are uttered in quoted remarks by interview subjects). Sadly, in the course of covering the topic, I learned that that the Newspeak practitioners pretending to be journalists at Reuters have already done this in association "with specific events."

Now Philip Mudd, who "comments on counterterrorism and security policy for CNN" and is a former “deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center,” wants to travel part of the way down that road. Mudd wants to effectively eliminate the T-words when describing "seemingly random attacks with debatable motivations," while continuing their use for "politically motivated Islamist revolutionaries" such as "Osama bin Laden."